Speaker Spotlight: Kathryn Presner!

Kathryn Presner

Kathryn Presner

WordCamp Montreal is only a week away! We’re excited to bring you a new speaker spotlight series this year!

Our next spotlight is Kathryn Presner!

Kathryn Presner of Zoonini Web Services takes a holistic approach to web design and development, building unique sites that work well, look great, and are easily found in search-engine results by the target market. Kathryn is passionate about helping people avoid common website pitfalls and as an enthusiastic WordPress user, gives back to the open-source community by answering questions as a volunteer WordPress support-forum moderator and presenting at events like WordCamp, Podcamp, and Girl Geek Dinners. Non-web pastimes include cooking healthy and delicious food, pondering which of her three cats is the most human-like, and eagerly awaiting her first crop of homegrown organic garlic.

Follow @zoonini on Twitter.

Kathryn will be giving a talk titled Passionate About Plugins and a joint talk titled A Beginner’s Guide to WordPress.

What is your favorite improvement to WordPress this past year?

Over the last few months, the information presented in the plugin repository has had some valuable overhauls. For example, it now includes a prominent warning if a plugin hasn’t been updated in more than 2 years and displays an indicator like “52 of 57 support threads in the last two months have been resolved” – giving you a sense of the level of support-forum assistance you’re likely to get, should you need it.

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Montreal?

Simple: I love sharing my passion for WordPress with beginners!

What is your talk going to be about?

Passionate About Plugins will explore some of the factors to consider when choosing a plugin from the more than 20,000 available in the repository. We’ll look at things like the likelihood of getting support if something goes amiss, the frequency of updates, and potential conflicts. A portion of the talk will feature recommended plugins, including security-related tools that make your site less vulnerable to being hacked.

In A Beginner’s Guide to WordPress, presented with Shannon Smith, we’ll demystify WordPress for newbies. We’ll explain the difference between themes, plugins, and widgets, and take a hands-on look at the administration area. We encourage people to bring questions about anything WordPress-related they may be wondering about.

What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?

Passionate About Plugins: I hope people become more confident about how to make a wise choice of plugin  and excited about the potential of plugins to enhance their site.

A Beginner’s Guide to WordPress:  I want folks to feel more comfortable with WordPress terminology and better understand how the various elements like themes, databases and plugins work together to power their site, making it look and work as it does.

Who in the WordPress community inspires you? Who do you follow?

The WordPress.org support forums are blessed with a team of incredibly dedicated volunteer moderators, and I raise my glass to them. Folks like Andrea R., Christine R., Esmi, Ipstenu, Jan D. and others, help an incredible number of WordPress users with grace, skill and patience.

What new feature would you like to see in the future?

An optional Visual Editor for the text widget would be super handy for a lot of people.

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